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Re: how many world-systems in 1400 AD ?
by g kohler
07 December 2003 23:25 UTC
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thanks for the interesting overview, which invariably raises additional
questions. Where do you place the Arab world from Yemen to Southern Spain in
1400AD ? Based on cultural, economic, and military contacts with West Asia
and Europe, the Arab world could be included in your West Asia-cum-Europe
world-system, could it not? Arabs in southern Spain were teaching Europeans
how to grow oranges and how to read Aristotle, and pirates from Algeria were
visiting Italian harbours. . .Not sure what the Christian knights were doing
in the Levant in 1400 AD. . .

----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas D. [tom] Hall"
Sent: Saturday, December 06, 2003

> Gert,
> As a California school player, I would argue many world-systems,
especially in
> those regions characterized by no states or only nascent states.  For
> based systems there are AT LEAST the following, and quite probably more:
> East Asia, South Asia, West Asia [of which "europe" is a  mostly
> rump]; at least one in what is now south Mexico [Aztecan], and at least
one in
> the Andes.  Plus all the others you mentioned.  There were, no doubt some
> Africa, but my knowledge there is too thin to make any sort of claim.
> For state based ones, consult the civilizations lists compiled by David
> Wilkinson, several of which Chase-Dunn and I have reprinted in Rise and
> and other papers.
> Even for state ones, considering multiple boundaries is an issue.  For
> instance if one follows the boundaries Chris & I have proposed, Bulk
> political/military, prestige or luxury goods, and information.  Some
> may be linked at one level but not others, which, of course, would shape
> count.
> I am reminded of something Art Stinchcombe said long ago.  Counting is the
> last thing you do, AFTER you figure out what you want to count and why.
> in a situation such as this, the entire process needs several iterations.
> Work out some definitions, do some counting, than revisit the definitions.
> have maybe the first or 2nd round of such iterations in Rise & Demise, but
> would stress those are preliminary at best.
> Not a definitive answer, for sure, but a reasonable one.\
> tom hall
. . .snip>

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